A protest rally was hosted at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi to condemn the "violence unleashed on unarmed civilians in Kashmir" on Wednesday (July 13). The "silent" protest was attended by students, trade union activists, women's rights groups, lawyers and queer groups.
It was a "silent" protest, where participants were seen holding placards condemning the death of civilians in the Valley. Reports say the death toll in clashes between protestors and security forces climbed to 34 in Kashmir on Wednesday.
Kashmir has been on the boil ever since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was the poster boy militant, on Friday (July 8) in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag.
The participants at the Jantar Mantar rally alleged that few right-wing activists tried to disrupt the peaceful march, without any success.
"The silent march and public meeting took place peacefully despite provocations from four or five right-wing men," said a statement published in IndiaResists.com. The right-wing men alleged to have raised threatening slogans but dispersed, as they were heavily outnumbered by the participants.
IndiaResists.com is a free and open online platform for updates and perspectives on people's struggles and democratic movements in India. It's run by a group of independent researchers and activists.
"Indian government needs to take a humane approach towards Kashmir," said civil society activist Shabnam Hashmi at the rally.
JNUSU vice-president, Shehla Rashid, said, "Unless the government works for a long term political solution for the issue of Kashmir that is in keeping with the wishes of the Kashmiri people, such events will keep happening."
Kavita Krishnan, secretary, All India Progressive Women's Association, made an appeal to all Indian citizens to step away from the shrill media propaganda over Kashmir, and open their hearts and minds to the voices of the Kashmiri people.
The participants at the protest rally were seen holding placards asking the government to repeal the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) and initiate a dialogue process for a peaceful political solution of the Kashmir problem.